There’s More To Life Than Making Jam and Having Kids is one of 23 etchings that make up Damien Hirst’s first volume of the In A Spin, The Action Of The World On Things portfolio from 2002. Based on Hirst’s famous series of works, the spin paintings, this etching depicts a variation on this theme. As with every print in this volume, There’s More To Life Than Making Jam and Having Kids is formed of concentric circles created with thin coloured lines and paint-like splatters.
To create the In A Spin, The Action Of The World On Things, Hirst attached copper plates to a spin machine in his studio, drawing on them with sharp tools as the machine rotated. The use of the rotating machine is reminiscent of the optical experiments of the Dada artist Marcel Duchamp from the 1920s and ’30s. While Duchamp used motorised spinning devices to create optical illusions, Hirst instead uses a spin machine towards aesthetic and expressionistic ends.
Hirst’s aim to create these spin works for aesthetic purposes was made clear in his 1994 installation exhibition, Making Beautiful Drawings. During this exhibition, visitors could create their own spin drawings on a pedal-powered turntable machine, highlighting Hirst’s interest in interrogating originality and repetition throughout his artistic oeuvre.